Bad Chris Martin AKA Phantom Steelworks!

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Any update on this topic? has anyone received their blades? or is everyone still waiting?
 

Mitchell Knives

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If you don't mind me asking, how much did you pay for this?

The current price seems to be around $2k.

I can't imagine sending a maker $2k upfront.

I can't think of a legitimate reason for a maker to request payment up front. (Unless you are ordering something especially fancy that requires expensive or exotic materials.)

Never pay upfront!
 

KELAMA

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yeah he was extremely active and was getting orders for big youtubes and intagram people done like crazy and it just randomly stopped. How were we to know this was going to happen.

Just as an update to this thread. I have been swapping emails with Chris and he is very responsive. He has sent me video updates on my build and pictures of the batches of knives he currently has on his bench (DUB's and Delirums).
He is still of course very late from his original quoted time, but progress is happening. I will update this thread as things continue.

Any update on this topic? has anyone received their blades? or is everyone still waiting?

^ +1

I just received a Phantom Steelworks modded CRK OP Zaan yesterday, that I purchased here off the BF exchange. This thread's been right and front of me and I didn't even make the connection until I used the search function.

I can say this: Chris, does exceptional work! The Zaan I received is 10x nicer than a generic Zaan. His attention to detail, is top notch. :thumbsup:

Then I saw this thread in the customs sub forum this morning, of a Phantom Steelworks Delirium: https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/phantom-steelworks-delirium-one-off.1523045/

The craftsmanship on that beauty is off the charts, IMO. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :cool:

I'd definitely like to contact him about doing some work, but not before I can see evidence that he's taken care of his waiting customer's. And don't worry- there's no way I'd consider paying (other than for materials), any money upfront.
22049957_1070512176419628_8283492637908768844_n.jpg 22046498_1070512206419625_6400896732100557204_n.jpg 22045720_1070512333086279_3247926948344020929_n.jpg
 
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Great looking knife, ok that makes me feel better about placing any future orders with him. I hope others are receiving theirs as well.

I love his work but the lack of a website or the fact that a contract or some type of receipt is not provided to consumers is alarming. Especially for the price these knives cost. Its kind of odd, most people never leave a normal store without a receipt which has a brick and mortar location you can identify with, but in the custom knife world it seems people just send money to people around the world based on paypal? even though paypal specifically says it does not cover custom items not received. see below link under "What’s not covered with PayPal Purchase Protection"

https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/paypal-safety-and-security

I even tried looking in the BBB website and found no record, am I missing something? where is the checks and balance for the consumers.

Its surprising to me that a better business model has not been created for the custom knife world, almost like a paypal but just for custom knifes where makers and consumers have a middle man to ensure everyone stays true to terms. Does anyone know if this exist?
 

knifetography

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Long-time lurker. Mostly use this forum for background checks, but I have experience here so I figured I would share.
I just got my knife a two weeks ago after waiting 18 months.

Many, many, many "I'll have it done this weekend" emails.
I got it eventually. Though my tastes changed completely by the time I got it, so it sits in its box. Action is great, just not a fan of the "murdered out" look anymore.
The experience as a whole soured me entirely on the knife. No joy was had when I received it. Just relief that I wasn't out money.
I didn't intentionally pay up front, but rolled over his failed midtech into the Delirium.
Haven't done a hefty deposit since (unless I request super expensive materials, then I pay for them which is fair to ask). Lesson learned.
 
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Long-time lurker. Mostly use this forum for background checks, but I have experience here so I figured I would share.
I just got my knife a two weeks ago after waiting 18 months.

Many, many, many "I'll have it done this weekend" emails.
I got it eventually. Though my tastes changed completely by the time I got it, so it sits in its box. Action is great, just not a fan of the "murdered out" look anymore.
The experience as a whole soured me entirely on the knife. No joy was had when I received it. Just relief that I wasn't out money.
I didn't intentionally pay up front, but rolled over his failed midtech into the Delirium.
Haven't done a hefty deposit since (unless I request super expensive materials, then I pay for them which is fair to ask). Lesson learned.

Thank you for sharing your experience, Its a shame because I actually love his design,, but not enough to go through the worry if i lost my money, especially for that long of a period.. I hope if others are waiting for their builds that they also take the time to post their experience. Currently there is no way to know if he is cought up on his orders or not.

I just dont get it...why not have a website or by minimum a Instagram account to showcase that he is knocking out orders or a public list so everyone can see when their knife is up.. even if you find out that it will take a long time to get to your design, it would atleast provide peace of mind knowing your order has not been forgotten.

I was willing to give him the benefit of doubt because I understand that knife making might be his true calling and not running the administration side of the business..but I just feel that its not that hard to keep your fans happy. Just give the community a method to showcase your work progress and I would bet he would have an even higher demand.

Via Instagram or even a youtube channel would work.. and both of these option could be done with just a cell phone.. the effort that would be spent is so minimal when compared to the publicity he would gain as a leading knife maker.

Its seems so obvious to me that i just dont get it..Chris if you do read this. i hope you take this as feedback.. many people love your design and would be happy to pay for it.. but you should provide better clarity, you have the talent and skill... at this point its a loss for the whole community.
 
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^ +1

I just received a Phantom Steelworks modded CRK OP Zaan yesterday, that I purchased here off the BF exchange. This thread's been right and front of me and I didn't even make the connection until I used the search function.

I can say this: Chris, does exceptional work! The Zaan I received is 10x nicer than a generic Zaan. His attention to detail, is top notch. :thumbsup:

Then I saw this thread in the customs sub forum this morning, of a Phantom Steelworks Delirium: https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/phantom-steelworks-delirium-one-off.1523045/

The craftsmanship on that beauty is off the charts, IMO. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :cool:

I'd definitely like to contact him about doing some work, but not before I can see evidence that he's taken care of his waiting customer's. And don't worry- there's no way I'd consider paying (other than for materials), any money upfront.
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I notice members mention that they would not pay upfront except for covering materials, but how are materials cost calculated? Example, if I'm requesting Timascus on my blade should it be 500? According to Alpha knife supply the billets are under 500 but what about the rest of the knife, how is that calculated? I appreciate any insight or experience.

https://www.alphaknifesupply.com/shop/product/timascus-billets
 
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I notice members mention that they would not pay upfront except for covering materials, but how are materials cost calculated? Example, if I'm requesting Timascus on my blade should it be 500? According to Alpha knife supply the billets are under 500 but what about the rest of the knife, how is that calculated? I appreciate any insight or experience.

https://www.alphaknifesupply.com/shop/product/timascus-billets


It's not about paying up front or not. Customers need to do their research.

There are many legitimate makers tha charge full price up front. But they aren't telling people it's 2-5 years for the knife to be made.

Personally, when your turn is up I take full payment. I don't take full payment until I start building your knife, but I only work on 1-2 knives at a time. I'm also completely upfront with build updates and what I'm doing. I've never had an issue and I know other legitimate makers that haven't either, because we do what we say and keep communications open.

I take payment in full because I build each custom for the user specifications, I won't sale a knife to someone that is built for another person. My knives start at $3k and I have a list 20 yeas long, I'm not wasting my time building a knife specifically for someone for them to change their mind and then force me to sell it to someone else it's not meant for.

I'm writing this to give you guys a different perspective from a makers point of view. Guys like phantom steelworks are ruining it for the knifemaking community. It's not business but I've heard similar issues with this guy where he has owed someone a know a knife for over 2 years with empty promises.

Here is the proper way to do it: when I made my midtech I knew I was going to deal with a midtech company so I didn't completely control everything. With that in mind I paid for the production out of my own pocket, I did a small preorder partial payment and I was so worried about that that I posted updates and sent emails weekly to everyone. Never missed one email response. I forward every communication I had with the midtech company to anyone that asked about update.

During that time I heard so many people worried because of all the bad preorders experience they had, it took me so much time and effort to communicate but it was my responsibility to do so. I have a real career, family and personal obligation on top of my knife making hobby. Not once was an excuse made to not communicate, because it was easier to answer a question then make an excuse.
I delivered the knives 2 months ahead of schedule.

I know a lot of makers like this, you can trust them. But you have to do your research and talk to other reputable makers. It takes one email to ask if you can trust a maker rather then lose your money. The first place to start is bladeforums, it's the best knife community in the world and only honest makers make it here.
 
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Awesome post, thank you for sharing your experience and for the insight that many makers do ask for payment up front. For a new knife enthusiast you go by the info people are willing to share and its cunfusing to determine what is normal practice and what are the red flags. Especially when you don't have friends that are into knives, for someone like me the blogs is all I got.

From a knife maker point of view, does it make sense to provide your customers with a wait list or maybe some type of contract that the knife build will be delivered by a certain date?

and for the rest of the community, would anyone feels safe to proceed requesting a build from Phantom Steel Works with a large deposit? any reasons why or how would you proceed?
 
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Awesome post, thank you for sharing your experience and for the insight that many makers do ask for payment up front. For a new knife enthusiast you go by the info people are willing to share and its cunfusing to determine what is normal practice and what are the red flags. Especially when you don't have friends that are into knives, for someone like me the blogs is all I got.

From a knife maker point of view, does it make sense to provide your customers with a wait list or maybe some type of contract that the knife build will be delivered by a certain date?

and for the rest of the community, would anyone feels safe to proceed requesting a build from Phantom Steel Works with a large deposit? any reasons why or how would you proceed?


It all depends on the maker and what his work ethic and reputation is.

I don't give dates I know I may have a likelyhood of missing. I would not feel comfortable taking payment up front for something a year out either. That is why I only work on 1-2 knives at a time. It allows people to know that since they do pay up front their knives are being worked on.

Communication is the key to all this. I tell everyone I build a knife for that this is a hobby for me, I have a real career so my time is limited. I give a date range and I update them daily or weekly so they know that I'm not off taking more money and building other things.

Excuses have to stop too, no need for them be truthful. Some of these guys just get in way over there head. The knife community is not an ATM. You take an order and money, treat it like it's not yours until the work is done.

Like I said, if you can't find info on a maker, DM me I will most likely know them or know another maker I trust that does and respond to you. Or make a inquiry post on here, people are super helpful.
 

Undefeatable

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Just as an update, I have not received my knife yet. He does answer my emails within a few hours, so luckily he is not radio silent. At this point, I am not really in the knife hobby as much anymore. The only knife I own is a Para 3. When my order does eventually come in, I am not sure whether I will keep it or not as I am saving for other things in life. I will update as I get updates.
 

NJBillK

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Just as an update, I have not received my knife yet. He does answer my emails within a few hours, so luckily he is not radio silent. At this point, I am not really in the knife hobby as much anymore. The only knife I own is a Para 3. When my order does eventually come in, I am not sure whether I will keep it or not as I am saving for other things in life. I will update as I get updates.
What a shame...
This is like ordering a custom moped at 15 and not having it until after you can drive a car...
 

KELAMA

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Awesome post, thank you for sharing your experience and for the insight that many makers do ask for payment up front. For a new knife enthusiast you go by the info people are willing to share and its cunfusing to determine what is normal practice and what are the red flags. Especially when you don't have friends that are into knives, for someone like me the blogs is all I got.

From a knife maker point of view, does it make sense to provide your customers with a wait list or maybe some type of contract that the knife build will be delivered by a certain date?

and for the rest of the community, would anyone feels safe to proceed requesting a build from Phantom Steel Works with a large deposit? any reasons why or how would you proceed?

Welcome to BF's, JFalcon! :thumbsup: :)

You definitely found one of the more valuable tools on this site- the GBU! :thumbsup: Fortunately in your case, before the fact! :)

In answering the question that you posted above: the answer at this time, would have to be an emphatic, "NO!!!"

At the present time, there are couple of this guy's knives listed here in the custom's sales sub forum:
https://www.bladeforums.com/forums/for-sale-custom-knives-individual.748/
If you happen to find a knife that you like, you can typically find it for less than commissioning a custom build, & it will also save you the stress of enduring long wait times.

Heck, if I were you, I'd put your head together with Mike (Pittknife), & see if he might have the time to help create something for you; or perhaps he can recommend another maker. There are so many other extremely talented, trustworthy knife maker's out there- many whom support this forum. :thumbsup: Good luck!
 
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Thank you very much, I'm the type of guy that when I want something I need someone to type it in bold letters "NO"!!! for me to get it.. LOL I truly do like the design of the delirium and I would have been tempted to try my luck... but after reading everyone's experience I have changed my mind.. and I want to sincerly thank everyone who posted and shared their experience.. this is one headache I don't need. This whole thing is suppose to be fun and honestly it would have turned me away from considering a custom blade ever again.

I feel for those who are currently waiting, I wish you all the best of luck. I would encourage you to continue to post your experience.. if it wasn't for this forum I would have been in the same boat with a pissed off wife. Thanks again
 
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Any update on this situation??? I'm in the same situation with him. He owes me an full timascus DUB Impact that at the time was valued at $2000. I traded him a Mosier Spyro and around $900 on 6-14-2014 for the full timascus DUB Impact and all I've heard since then are excuses after excuses. I have every email exchange where he makes promise after promise but no resolution. I've even kept the USPS receipt when I sent him the Mosier and I've saved the thread were he sold that same Mosier on the USN. Last communication I had from him was in September offering me another knife but haven't heard anything since.
 

Undefeatable

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No knife yet but he answers my emails. I think he offered me the same knife (full dress delirium?)
 
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